Join Larry Jordan for an in-depth discussion in this video Understanding the interface, part of DVD Studio Pro 4 Essential Training.
You can start DVD Studio Pro in three different ways. The easiest and most often is to simply double-click on the name of your project and it will open up DVD Studio Pro, but we haven't created a project yet, so I can't do that. Another is to go down to the dock and click on it, but it's not in the dock. Well, let's go to way number three, I have opened the Application folder and there is DVD Studio Pro. I could just double-click on it, but how low-tech is that, instead I'm going to just grab the icon here and drag it down into the dock, so we've got it in the dock.
Then we'll click on it in the dock, we are working with Leopard here, but the procedures are exactly the same whether you are inside Leopard or Tiger, OS X 10.4 or 10.5. The very first time you run DVD Studio Pro, this dialog appears, and it needs a little bit of explanation because you are making a couple of choices that are going to stay with you for a while. None of them are permanent and none of them are life threatening, but first time I ran the application, I clicked the wrong one. So let me just explain what this is. Apple calls the way that Windows are laid out inside DVD Studio Pro configurations and there are three, there is Basic, Extended and Advanced.
Basic, most closely resembles the interface used by iDVD, but my personal philosophy is, if you wanted to use iDVD, why did you buy DVD Studio Pro. Basic has got more limitations than it has benefits. I'll show you Basic, but for right now we are going to ignore it. Extended works really well and it happens to be my favorite choice in terms of how menus are laid out. If you have an extra large monitor like a 23" or for those of you that are showing off, you have something even bigger, Advanced is perfectly okay. I'll show you all three, but because we get to select what our default setting is, at this choice I'm going to select my default to be Extended.
Then we get to define what our video standard is. If you are principally working with NTSC, that's the default, if you are principally working with PAL, say PAL. We can change this later in Preferences; this just sets up the default settings. Again, if our standard definition is what we are working with the most, we leave it to the default. If we are principally working with HD, we would change the default and again, Preferences overwrite this. We've got a variety of different language choices, a wide variety of different language choices, but seeing as I really only speak English and even that I sometimes question my ability in. We're just going to leave the default to English.
So we've set it to Extended, NTSC, Standard def English and click OK. DVD Studio Pro takes a while to load up. Don't worry your machine hasn't died and there is a lot of naval contemplation that DVD Studio Pro has to go through to be able to get itself started. So just take a deep breath, relax and watch your desktop screen while DVD Studio Pro gets itself started, but once it's started, it opens up in a display like this. This is the Extended window configuration or window layout, there are 11 tabs and there are two folding palettes. But before I introduce you to the tabs, let me illustrate the three different configurations. So you can decide, which one do you want to use.
To get to the Basic configuration, press the F1 key. The F1 takes you to the Basic configuration, which has a floating Palette in the top right, that's this one right here. Has the Inspector in the lower right and has a single window consisting of four tabs, Menu, Slideshow, Viewer and Graphical. Apple describes this as the configuration most similar to that of iDVD. Well, my feeling is, if you wanted to use iDVD why would you be learning DVD Studio Pro. I can't think of anything, but this particular layout is exactly useful for. So this is the only time I'm going to talk about it.
The next configuration is the F2 key. This is the Extended configuration. It consists of two floating windows, the Palette and the Inspector both on the right-hand side and eleven tabs, which I will introduce in just a moment. The third configuration is the F3 key, this is the Advanced configuration. The Advanced configuration works best on large monitors like a 23" or the 30" if you are so lucky, you could, just give me one. But no, no keep the 30 for yourself, that's okay. I'm not jealous at all, no. Sorry, lost for a moment.
Let's go back to F2, F2 works really well when you have got a smaller screen as I do here because I'm constrained by the size of these demos that I can create. The F3 and the F2 configuration, F2 is Extended F3 is Advanced, have exactly the same tabs, they are just organized in a different fashion. I'll show you how to change in your tab layouts in the session on customization, which will be coming up in just a minute. The Palette, which is in the top right corner is a collection of Templates, everything from full screen templates, which we can use for animated menus to Styles, for buttons and text and drop sounds and layouts. Don't worry if you don't know what they are, all this will be explained as we go through the application. Apple supplies some, you can create your own, you can have some for the particular project. You also have Shapes that you can work with, also access to your Music folder.
The Audio tab gives you access to your iTunes folder, your Stills tab gives you access to your iPhoto folder and the Videos tab gives you access to your iMovie folder. All of these are stored inside your home directory, the Movies folder, the Pictures folder and the Music folder. Most of the time, my recommendation is from my point of view, from a workflow point of view, not to use the home directory for the storage of your assets. That doesn't mean you can't use them, doesn't mean that they don't work. I just think there is a better way in, which to organize your assets. We will be talking about that in the section on creating a simple DVD. The floating Palette is wonderful, but sometimes it just gets in your way and sometimes I would like it to just disappear. But the cool thing is, there is a keyboard shortcut that makes that happen, Option +Command+P. Option+Command+P brings it back, Option+Command+P makes it disappear.
Immediately below it is arguably the most important window inside DVD Studio Pro and it's one that we've never seen inside Final Cut. It's called the Inspector window. The Inspector window is where we make changes. We're going to be spending a lot of time looking at all the different options; there are hundreds and hundreds of options inside the Inspector. Two things to keep in mind, you always go to the Inspector to make changes and the Inspector is context sensitive. When you click on something, the Inspector changes based upon what you click on. Now, I'm not going to go through all the different settings now, all of this including me would be then agony by the time it was over. No, no, we'll spread this out over the course of the training. Just keep in mind that if something needs to be changed, you are going to change it in the Inspector and the Inspector is context sensitive. So we'll just tuck that back over here, those are the two floating windows. Either way the keyboard shortcut to hide the Inspector is Option+Command+I; to hide the Palette is Option+Command+P.
This is useful if you want to expand the screen, of one of the other windows, which I'll talk about more in just a minute. As we go across we have three basic windows, each window has tabs to top of it. There's a total of 11 tabs inside the Application, briefly the Assets windows contains a list of everything that you have accessed to for your DVD. It most closely resembles the browser inside Final Cut. The Outline is a list of everything that is actually on your DVD. The DVD is a very specific set of instructions and what we create has to be very specific technically. Consequently, the Outline has a very formalized structure that we need to live within as we create our titles.
The Log is feedback from the computer to us, telling us what's going on. It's especially useful during building that is to say the final compilation of our DVD and in debugging and running scripts. For right now we are going to ignore it totally. The Menu tab, and notice these windows change color depending upon, which tab is active. I have got a light gray bar here that means, this window is active and the tab that's light is the active tab. Here, it's a dark gray, which means this window is not active, even though the tab is light. As we switch from one window to the other, notice that gray bar changes color depending upon which one we click on.
The Menu tab is where we build our menus. The Viewer tab is where we view things like view video or view slides. The Graphical tab shows us the structure of the DVD that we're creating. Connections show us all the different links and whether they are properly linked or not. The Track is not the same, not the same as the Timeline inside Final Cut, radically not the same. They both are time-based, they both start at the left and go to the right but after that there is not a parallel between the two of them, and this took me a while to learn. We'll talk about the track as we build our DVD, the Slideshow allows us to build slide shows and to organize them, Stories, which are unique to DVD Studio Pro as compared to iDVD.
Stories are magical, they allow us to -- well I'm going talk about it more, during the Advanced section. If I told you now, you would never come back. The Scripting section allows us to build scripts to help the DVD set top box make decisions as it's playing back the DVD. Again we'll be talking a lot about scripting and stories inside the Advanced section of this title. For right now though, I just wanted to introduce you to these different tabs. The keyboard shortcuts are in alphabetical order, Command+1 is the Asset tab, Command+2 is the Connections tab, Command+3 is the Log tab and so on. Here is the listing of the keyboard shortcuts inside DVD Studio Pro.
There's actually more, Apple's Manual has 16 pages of keyboard shortcuts. But these are useful, because they allow you to quickly switch from one tab to the next without necessarily having to click the mouse. Although it would be quite truthful, most of the time I find it faster to do everything or almost everything with the mouse, unlike Final Cut where I'm keyboard-driven. In DVD Studio Pro, I tend to be driven much more by the mouse just because the way the application itself works. I'm thinking of the application, these three configurations, Basic, Extended and Advanced are very useful and helpful in and of themselves.
But sometimes, we would like to configure it, to customize it so it's just the way that we want it to work. I will talk about customization next.
- Project planning
- Preparing video, audio, and graphic assets
- Setting up and exporting a project from Final Cut Pro
- Creating a DVD from start to finish
- Creating advanced buttons and menus
- Making a chapter index template
- Working with markers
- Building a story
- Creating and formatting subtitles
- Working with HD media
- Working with dual layer discs